The dentist performs a clinical and radiological examination of the tooth to be treated. Treatment is tailored to each patient.
Endodontics in a nutshell
Endodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with diseases of the soft tissues inside the tooth, including diseases of the dental pulp and dental nerves.
This specialised dental surgery focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases of the pulp and dental nerve. Thanks to these treatments, the affected teeth once again become healthy and functional. Endodontic treatment has the advantage of preserving natural teeth, thus avoiding implants or dentures.
WHEN ARE ENDODONTICS NECESSARY?
Endodontic treatment is necessary when the patient experiences a toothache or inflammation of the dental nerve or dental pulp (pulpitis). It is also necessary when the nerve is infected or necrotised as is the case – for example – with an abscess.
These diseases can also be caused by a deeply-lodged cavity, or a cracked or fractured tooth. This inflammation or pulpal infection must be treated as quickly as possible, as it causes severe pain and can worsen by forming an abscess (if the latter hasn’t already made its presence known).
HOW DOES ENDODONTIC TREATMENT WORK?
An endodontic consultation aims to detect and treat a disease of the dental roots.
It is a four-step process, namely:
First, the dentist performs a clinical and radiological examination of the tooth to be treated. Treatment is tailored to each patient.
After disinfecting the tooth’s root, the dentist removes the infected or inflamed dental nerve. This process is done under local anaesthesia and is completely painless.
Once cleaned and prepared, the root is sealed with biocompatible and waterproof products – a step that aims to maintain the results of the disinfection done in the preparatory phase.
Following endodontic treatment, the devitalised tooth is restored. Depending on the nature of the restoration to be done, the specialist has several options available, including:
- The devitalised tooth is restored with a composite material. Composite is a resin that is glued to the dental mass. This material’s aesthetic properties are excellent. This type of dental filling restores a damaged tooth when there is small to medium loss of dental mass. The composite is directly mounted on the tooth in one sitting.
- The second technique of restoring teeth is indirect and involves a prosthetic laboratory. For this, impressions must be made for the prosthetic piece – or “onlay” – that will be used on the tooth. This ceramic piece is nested, then glued, onto the tooth. This treatment ensures the piece’s exact fit, especially when there are large volumes to be reconstructed. This material is strong, resistant, and long lasting. Aesthetically, onlays also offer an optimal rendering. This type of reconstruction is suggested when restoration is of a medium extent.
- The last restoration technique is to make a crown. This total restoration is done when the tooth is overly damaged. The crown replaces the whole visible part of the tooth in the mouth using cerclage of the residual dental mass, giving the tooth greater solidity. This last step protects the tooth, restoring its normal function.